Security Scoop - NSI Watercooler Stories

New Viruses Target IM
A security firm reports that in July alone, the number of viruses threatening instant messaging systems rose nearly 25%. The acceleration of IM viruses, long predicted by security experts, has come to pass, according to Akonix Systems; new outbreaks with names such as Rants, Prex, and Kirvo are tailored specifically to IM. Prex is considered especially dangerous because it infects machines running both AOL’s and Yahoo’s IM services. Virus writers have turned to IM because more computer users are safeguarding their e-mail programs with software that does a solid job filtering out virus-laden messages, according to security analysts.

Hackers Lurk on Photo Sites
More and more, cyber-criminals are disseminating viruses on photo sites, greeting-card services, blog sites, and other free Web sites that offer plenty of storage. According to Websense, more than 500 such incidents were noted in a recent 2-week period. Free services not only offer memory, they are also anonymous, a perfect combination for hackers. Typically, attackers lure victims to malicious sites through e-mails or instant messages. When users click on links, their PCs are infected and may be used to send spam worldwide.

Top 5 Spam Categories Named
Drum roll please … it’s time to reveal the top five categories of junk e-mail, as tracked by security firm Sophos. The big winner for 2005 so far is medication/pills, which accounts for 41.4% of all spam reports. Next are mortgage offers, which clocked in with 11.1%. That old favorite pornography took the third spot, with 9.5%. Stock scams are growing fast, Sophos says, accounting for 8.5% of all spam thus far this year. In fifth were product-related spam messages, with 8.3%. The remaining 21.2% fall into the “other” category.

See Also: Live Discussion | The Toll of Identity Sprawl in the Complex Enterprise

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